Welcome to ‘The End Dilemma’ of the ‘Zorbius’ series by Tim Bradley!
The Sixth Doctor is a rather unique era of ‘Doctor Who’. Not just because it was affected by the 1985 hiatus and pressure from BBC bosses. But because, despite Colin Baker’s short-lived tenure on TV, his Doctor has had a long life in books, comics and audios. This I’m certain Colin is very happy about.
So ‘The End Dilemma’ in a way is my homage to all I love about the Sixth Doctor era in both the TV stories I’ve seen and the Big Finish audios I’ve heard. It was also a chance to write for Colin Baker’s Doctor and Nicola Bryant’s Peri. I like this TARDIS duo. They are very unique when you think about it.
Colin Baker’s Doctor is mostly regarded as the unlikeable, brash, multi-coloured Doctor on TV. He’s mellowed in later stories as well as the Big Finish audios. But it’s fascinating that Peri, a companion who first travelled with the Fifth Doctor, should want to stick around with a really unlikeable Doctor.
This story for the ‘Zorbius’ series was a chance to explore that relationship between the Sixth Doctor and Peri and why they still stuck together as a duo, despite bickering with each other from time to time. Thankfully, Joseph Lidster’s story ‘The Reaping’ gave me inspiration to understand their relationship.
It was also great to pay homage to one of my favourite Sixth Doctor stories from the TV series – ‘The Two Doctors’. This story features the Androgums and the Sontarans from that story; and they’re created by Robert Holmes. I also included the Daleks to pay homage to ‘Revelation of the Daleks’. 😀
I also created characters based on names of people I’ve met at ‘Doctor Who’ conventions over the years in connection to Colin Baker’s era. This includes Dr. Harper – Graeme Harper who directed ‘Revelation’, Dan Limb – a combination of Dan Starkey (‘The First Sontarans’) and composer Roger Limb and Sara Hines – a combination of Sara Griffiths (‘I.D.’) and Frazer Hines a.k.a. Jamie McCrimmon.
The adventure is heavily focused on the ‘Zorbius’ plot throughout with the Doctor and Peri. It will feature elements from the first two stories – ‘The Zondor Robbers’ and ‘The Deepening Rain’ – as well as brief appearances via descriptions of past and future Doctors our main duo will come across.
I hope you’ll find ‘The End Dilemma’ an entertaining and enjoyable ride. I did borrow elements from the ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ two-parter ‘Year of Hell’ to forward my inspiration on this adventure. But if you like the Sixth Doctor and Peri, whether it’d be TV or audio, I guarantee you’ll find this a fun tale.
TIM BRADLEY, June 2020
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